Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fair Play: Why Cebu doesn't need the Smart Cup

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Jan. 28 edition)
ENGR. Rodney Orale, a calm presence in football tournaments here, was livid last Sunday night.

While talking with CFA sec-gen Atty. Julius Entise, Dino and Raffy Musni after the Aboitiz Cup opening, Dino called up Rodney for updates of their game against M'lang.

He was pissed. Their team, reduced to 12 because of a decision two days before the tournament, got on the wrong end of a series of non-calls in the Smart Club tournament. He said that Cebu had a lot of goals disallowed for fouls and one player got smacked right in front of the assistant referee, while another, Ene Famous got kicked. No whistle. Being the one in charge for referees in the CFA, you rarely hear Engr. Orale complain about referees, so the officiating must have been that bad.

Minutes after the game against M'lang, Orale—and the guys who were in that little gathering—all felt that it seems the Philippine football community conspired to make life hell for Erco in the Smart Club.

Perhaps it was the Mandaue Brewery talking but we all felt that night that Cebu is getting the raw end of the deal here.

Aside from raising the conduct or misconduct in this tournament to the PFF, we thought that with 17 FAs in Mindanao and a few more in the Visayas, the non-UFL FAs should start to have one voice in this fiasco that is the Smart Cup.

Imagine, UFL teams have two ways to join the Smart Club--the UFL and by latching on to the qualifiers of their favorite FA—while the provincial FAs only have one option?

That's one idea.

Another idea is one I just had now after reading Engr. Orale's online post. Boycott the Smart Club championships. You want it, well, you can have it all for yourself.

Besides, in those lean days of Philippine football, when nobody cared, Cebu had (and still has) a vibrant football community and had no need for (and will not need) national tournaments to have local events.

The PFF loves to hold the Smart Club eliminations here because the local FA has the funds, manpower and logistics to do so that they can go sit back and enjoy.

Dawat limpyo as we say. And now this?

Cebu doesn't need the Smart Cup, the Smart Cup needs Cebu.

And after this latest fiasco, the PFF can forget about having the Smart Cup here. If they insist, then let them have the University of San Carlos-SVD field and leave them all to their resources. Ask the Azkals, they had a training session there in 2010.

Bully Cebu, will you? Go screw yourself.

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